Newsstand Pendulum Swinging (1986)

Slide from Newsstand Rarity Discussion & Estimates; discussion below.

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This slide is part of my post entitled
Newsstand Rarity Discussion & Estimates where I have collected quotes and graphics related to the discussion of relative newsstand rarity over the years, compared to direct edition copies. In this slide, I am discussing a quote about the state of Marvel’s newsstand sales in 1986:

“I felt that we needed the newsstand market. That, if we became completely dependent on the Direct Market, we’d wind up in the same position as when we’d been entirely dependent on the newsstand market. Up the creek without a paddle. Screwed. Helpless. At their mercy. I spoke with Marvel’s newsstand sales manager, Denise Bové. Denise was in charge of our dealings with Curtis. Like me, she felt the pendulum had swung too far.”

— Jim Shooter, Comic Book Distribution Part III

What is particularly interesting to me about this quote, is that it reveals how by 1986 direct edition sales had grown to such a degree that Shooter and others were nodding their heads in agreement that the pendulum had swung too far, and Marvel was at risk of becoming entirely dependent on the direct market. I find this quote particularly notable in the context of the estimates of newsstand sales for the 1980’s given by Rozanski (quoted in another slide), where he estimated the 50/50 point of newsstand/direct was in the 1985/1986 time-frame.

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